Ashghal officials jailed on bribery charges

A sensational case of bribery involving an Ashghal (Public Works Authority) engineer and two managers and another official from a couple of contracting companies has come to light.

A lower criminal court sentenced the foursome to 10 years in jail for their involvement in a bribery scandal, but a higher court, during the hearing of an appeal, reduced the prison sentence to two years. The bribery case came to light during the implementation of Doha Expressway project.

The Upper Criminal Court has upheld the remaining portion of the verdict of the lower court about the terminations of all of them and imposing a fine of QR500,000 on the first convict, a project manager from Ashghal, Al Sharq reported yesterday.

A report prepared by a fact finding committee represented by the Public Prosecution and the State Audit Bureau was submitted to the court with the statements of witnesses.

The report blamed the manager of the said project at Ashghal for facilitating two contracting companies to get the tender for the Doha Expressway project worth QR220m in lieu of money. The manager was named as the prime or first accused in the case.

He was found guilty of leaking the information about the value of the project worth QR220m to the contracting companies. Based on this information, the companies priced their bids and bagged the contract. The manager was also convicted of extending the deadline for the completion of the project to prevent the companies from being fined.

The second convict, a manger of a company, admitted that the first convict had demanded cash and services of the companies to renovate his house as a bribe.

The third convict, manager of the second company, said that his company had sent the first convict on a foreign trip and paid the expenditure and also gave some gifts.

The fourth convict was involved in seeking tender details illegally from the first convict, Al Sharq said. Source: The Peninsula